Gemma Giantomasi Presented with Community Service Award from NJSBA Young Lawyers Division
CSG proudly announces that Gemma M. Giantomasi, counsel in the firm’s real estate, development and land use group, has been awarded the 2016 Service to the Community Award by the New Jersey State Bar Association (“NJSBA”) Young Lawyers Division (“YLD”). The award, which was presented at NJSBA’s 2016 Annual Meeting and Convention - Young Lawyers Division Meeting on May 19, is a testament to Giantomasi’s strong devotion to community service, including significant involvement in numerous regional non-profits.
Notably, Giantomasi has devoted countless hours to Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ), a not-for-profit law firm dedicated to improving the lives of the economically disadvantaged throughout New Jersey. Since 2011, she has provided leadership to the organization and pro bono legal assistance to the community members it serves. In this volunteer capacity, she has worked in a range of areas, including criminal record expungement, estate law and family law. Last year alone, Giantomasi assisted nearly 20 clients draft pro se divorce pleadings.
“Gemma’s dedication has been a key driver of her professional success, and we’re proud to see her using her significant talents in a charitable capacity,” said Mitch Berkey, co-chair of the CSG’s real estate, development and land use group. “As a working mother and an experienced real estate attorney, Gemma has a wide range of personal and professional responsibilities. Her consistent and successful pursuit of philanthropic activity speaks to her moral fiber and her passion for justice.”
In honoring Giantomasi with the Service to the Community Award, NJSBA YLD considered the entirety of her communal work. She currently serves as board secretary and general counsel of Opportunity Project, a Millburn-based non-profit that provides life skills, job training and other services to adults with traumatic brain injuries. In addition, Giantomasi previously served on the board of the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, a charitable organization that provides financial assistance to low-income residents in Northern New Jersey.
Giantomasi’s day-to-day legal work with CSG also exemplifies her devotion to public interests, as she counsels local municipalities, government agencies and educational institutions on real estate-related matters.
“While it’s easy to lose sight of the communal needs in life’s daily hustle and bustle, I’m fortunate to work at a firm that actively encourages community engagement and philanthropic activity,” said Giantomasi. “Volunteer Lawyers for Justice and Opportunity Project each offers valuable services to New Jersey citizens that are in need, and I’m proud to count myself among the volunteers that contribute to this important work.”
Giantomasi has also assumed several leadership roles at VLJ, including becoming youngest member of the organization’s board of trustees in 2012. She currently serves as the chair of its Generation Now Committee, which encourages young lawyers’ involvement in the non-profit’s efforts through outreach to law schools, bar associations and other means.
The NJSBA presents awards annually to young attorneys in several categories. The awards committee judges “Service to the Community” nominees for communal involvement, including pro bono work, government service, charity involvement or other public service.